Double Dragon review - Sega Megadrive

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Billy and Jimmy Lee share everything - the same fashion sense, the same hairstyle, the same deadly martial arts skills and even the same girlfriend! They also share a common hatred of the evil gangster, Mr Big. So, when this veritable kingpin of crime arrives at their house and kidnaps their girlfriend, they're obviously a mite annoyed. Actually, "livid with rage" would be a more apt description of their temperament, as they swear vengeance against Mr Big and vow to annihilate his legions of karate-trained hoods.

This all boils down to the usual beat 'em up scenario. Simply travel the horizontally scrolling mean streets, dishing out extreme kung-fu jutice to the hardened punks that cross your path. Of course, your opponents enter the fray heavily armed, but if you're cunning enough, you can deprive them of their weapons, pick them up and use them against their owners! Cool, eh?

But there's a long journey ahead of the lads, and danger lurks around every corner.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" I really enjoyed Double Dragon when it first came out in the arcades. After all, it was a milestone in the history of arcade combat games. This conversion is virtually identical to the coin-op, with graphics that are almost exactly the same. It actually improves on the original in one way because it doesn't slow down at all. On the down side, the bone-crunching sound effects aren't as good though as the coin-op, and the game is a lot easier than the arcade. I think that the easiness of the game is perhaps the biggest criticism I have. In two-player mode, MEGATECH editor Paul Glancey and myself completed the game on our first attempt. Perhaps if there weren't so many continues, the challenge would be stronger. The end-game sequence is also extremely disappointing. Although the £29.99 price tag is welcome, I can't help but think that you should save up an extra fiver and purchase Streets of Rage. "

" Double Dragon is an old favourite of mine and it's great to see it on the Megadrive. Graphics and sound-wise it's nigh on perfect, all the moves of the original have been included and the game plays exactly the same way... except that the opponents are far too easy to knock out. In the original arcade game the opposition were tough and wily and it took a lot of practice to battle your way through the game. Sadly, on the Megadrive the enemy hardly put up a fight and it doesn't take long before you're punching them all over the shop and cutting a swathe through to the end. I finished the game within fifteen minutes of getting it, and I think that even the most hopeless player won't need to use all of the available seven credits, each with seven lives to finish the game in one sitting. There isn't even a difficulty setting to make it tougher. Had Double Dragon provided a challenge I would have thoroughly recommended it. But it doesn't, so I won't. "


Overall Score59%

Stayrsaigh - 09 Mar 2008, 01:27 GMT

To start off with I honestly didn't think this game deserved such a low score! Sure the game is fairly easy but I thought it was a great conversion nonetheless. It certainly could have used a bit more challenge in the game department and the sound effects for the kicks and punches are unfogivably poor (What happened to the mega violent crunches and thwacks from the arcade?) plus Billy and Jimmy seem to have something stuck to their foot when they kick! Even still it's a jolly good romp and was a great cart for nostalgia buffs like me. Double Dragon is still one of the most imortaint games in the histoty of beat 'em ups and when you compare it to the Amiga and ST versions it suddeny doesn't seem so bad after all

Tris Wicks - 11 Nov 2008, 02:26 GMT

DD was awesome on the SMS. It had no peers. But as kid spending limited pocket money (back then) this seemed a bit crusty compared to the likes of Golden Axe and SOR. That's where the money had to go. But now, i'm gonna have to give MD DD a go - there's obvious affection out there for it.

Richy Girth - 04 Dec 2008, 12:51 GMT

I never was comfortable with the updated graphics that technically were perhaps superior to the coin-op, but........wasn't the coin-op.
(I was pretty anorakish, granted , I knew that Arcade version inside out) And I knew what I liked.

This game, Outrun, R-type etc - All are fine in their original arcade forms...Why mess with that...? Thats what sequels are for, aren't they? :p

Aside from the gameplay that feels so comparitively weightless, the music and sound are appalling.
Why they had to spend so much time reworking the graphics only to screw the pooch in the play-feel and sonics deptartments, I will only be able to shake my speculating stick at...
I guess it might be that games sold a lot of copies based on screenshots back then.
The other factor would be reviews.

Funnish, but I wish they could have managed an alt.version (like rainbow Islands did) with the original features or the updated ones being selectable.

Like Tris, I prefer the SMS for my 'nostalgic ports of DD' sessions, but this is WAY better than DD2 though....a conversion that's smegmatism knows no bounds. And I agree utterly with Stayrsaigh too that this murders the barely speakable insolence that were the Melbourne House (bowel) releases. With a pooey stick.

I prefer the coin-op version, yet if I had no option to play it, I'd probably opt for this then the Master System version.

Dan - 19 Mar 2009, 14:09 GMT

Looks like I'm in good company, the game wasn't as bad as it's score suggested (should've got 70% at least) but as mentioned the weightless feel to it really didn't help, and the Master System version just had that extra bit of magic to it.

Mean Machines Issue 19 - April 1992
Beat 'Em Up Sega Megadrive
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